Have you ever thought of standing for election, perhaps a councillor or even an MP, but have been put off because you have a disability or support needs? The Government wants everyone to feel able to stand for elected office and has set up a fund to help pay for the disability-related costs that might be needed. The fund can provide grants of £250 to £10,000.
You can apply if you are disabled and can show an interest in politics or community activities. Find out more at: www.access-to-elected-office-fund.org.uk which explains more and allows you to apply on-line. You can also telephone: 0845 864 5340.
Political parties have also been told that they have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled members to integrate fully in their political organisation and that they should consult with disabled people to enable them to be involved in public life.
My view is that I welcome this attempt at inclusion and hope that political parties will heed the advice and do more to involve not only disabled people but those from minority groups and indeed women. We need our councils to be truly reflective of our society and our local communities but far too often this doesn’t seem to be the case.